A Person-centred Approach to Care

A Person-centred Approach to Care

Engage patients and caregivers

Engage patients and their caregivers to find effective ways of collaborating.13

 Strongly Recommended

Expert Experiential

A person-centred approach to care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can positively impact their health and well-being.12 In person-centred care relationships, the person is at the centre of communication, planning and decisions regarding care. This might require additional time and supports to meet individual needs.

Identify a support person

Identify with them someone who knows the patient well who will attend health care appointments, help to coordinate care and monitor ongoing health and social needs.13,14

   Strongly Recommended

Expert Experiential

A person-centred approach to care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can positively impact their health and well-being.12 In person-centred care relationships, the person is at the centre of communication, planning and decisions regarding care. This might require additional time and supports to meet individual needs.

Provide sufficient time

Provide sufficient time and supports to ensure that individuals can make their specific health concerns, needs, and perspectives understood.14-16

   Strongly Recommended

Expert Experiential

A person-centred approach to care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can positively impact their health and well-being.12 In person-centred care relationships, the person is at the centre of communication, planning and decisions regarding care. This might require additional time and supports to meet individual needs.

Discuss goals and values

Discuss with patients and their caregivers their goals of care and values to guide health care decisions.17

  Recommended

A person-centred approach to care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can positively impact their health and well-being.12 In person-centred care relationships, the person is at the centre of communication, planning and decisions regarding care. This might require additional time and supports to meet individual needs.

Learn how to implement these guideline recommendations into your practice from selected articles in the special issue on primary care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Canadian Family Physician, Vol 64 (suppl 2): S1-78, April 2018:




  1. Caron RM. Chapter 17: Systems of health care delivery: Community setting. In: Rubin IL, Merrick J, Greydanus DE, Patel DR, editors. Health care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Rubin and Crocker 3rd ed. Springer; 2016. p. 185-94.
  2. Perry J, Felce D, Kerr M, Bartley S, Tomlinson J, Felce J. Contact with primary care: The experience of people with intellectual disabilities. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2014;27(3):200-11.
  3. Grier L. Chapter 26: Medical home. In: Rubin IL, Merrick J, Greydanus DE, Patel DR, editors. Health care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Rubin and Crocker 3rd ed. Springer; 2016. p. 289-300.
  4. Robinson L, Escopri N, Stenfert Kroese B, Rose J. The subjective experience of adults with intellectual disabilities who have mental health problems within community settings. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities. 2016;10(2):106-15.
  5. de Haas C, Ryan R. Chapter 4: Family centered care in a health care setting. In: Rubin IL, Merrick J, Greydanus DE, Patel DR, editors. Health care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Rubin and Crocker 3rd ed. Springer; 2016. p. 49-58.
  6. Sullivan WF, Heng J. Ethics. In: Taggart L, Cousins W, editors. Health promotion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Maidenhead, BRK, England: Open University Press; England; 2014. p. 204-10.
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